Empowering Retail Spaces To Sell Themselves

Manhattan offers some of the premiere shopping experiences in the world. But with rising rents and a difficult real estate market, more and more stores have been forced to shut down. The streets of the city are dotted with vacant retail spaces that can sit for months (or longer) without being rented. Faith Hope Consolo of Douglas Elliman Real Estate stated in this New York Times article that average annual retail rents in Manhattan have reached $1,100 per square foot

Suffice to say, the retail real estate industry is facing a major challenge in New York City: How to convince new businesses to set up shop in their location?

When retail real estate company RKF commissioned us to design an advertisement that would wrap around the side of the Marriott hotel in Manhattan's Financial District, we developed a bold new approach to solving this problem. The overwhelming majority of retail space ads are muted and, frankly, not visually interesting. Our theory was that if we could create a bright splashy design that would not only attract eyes, but entice people to cross the street to get a better look at the space inside, the increased foot traffic would lead to faster sales. Compared to paying for another month (or eight) in rent, the upfront cost of installing wraparound art is a low cost, high impact solution with great potential for ROI. 

Our concept renderings really illustrated the potential impact of the project.


We worked on site with the installation team to make sure the windows were just right.

The design we crafted was inspired by retro colors and interlocking shapes with strategically placed cut-outs inviting the public to take a peek at the available space inside. Once our designs were finalized, we created a 3D rendering of how the vinyl panels would display across each window of the building to ensure that the design would maintain its integrity. 

Our interactive strategy paid off: By using this design opportunity as a business tool, we greatly increased the number of people who are taking notice of this space. Even as the vinyl was being installed, people were stopping to check it out.

Aside from our primary goal of getting business owners interested in renting the space, an added benefit of our design is that its large scale and invigorating colors make a lovely backdrop for Instagram photos, which means free social media marketing for RKF!

For extra credit: If you find yourself strolling past the FiDi Marriott, snap a picture in front of this design and tag us on social media: @studiodbc

Are you trying to sell a retail space or looking for a building wrap ad? Contact us and let's discuss how we can create a custom design for your location!